Kerala will soon celebrate the 81st anniversary of its Temple Entry Proclamation, which abolished the ban on people from the lower castes or the avarnas from entering Hindu temples in Travancore in 1936. But this time, the celebration will be twofold.
On Monday, 22-year-old Yedu Krishnan became the first priest to perform rituals at the sanctum sanctorium of Manappuram Lord Shiva Temple at Valanjavattom near Thiruvalla. Yedu has ten years training in Tantra Shastra and is the son of daily wage labourers P.K. Ravi and Leela.
The Kerala Devaswom Recruitment Board had recommended 36 non-Brahmins to be appointed as priests. Yedu is one among the six Dalits who were appointed, reports PTI.
Yedu belongs to Koratty in Thrissur district.
He is a final year postgraduate student in Sanskrit and has been performing pooja at a temple near his house since he was 15.
The temple officials said that he took blessings of his guru K. K. Aniruddhan Thantri and then entered the shrine, while chanting mantras, with the current chief priest Gopakumar Namboodiri.
Yedu dreamt of becoming a priest since he was a child. When he was in class 10, he became the second priest at Valath temple in North Paravoo, reports The Times of India. According to the publication, Yedu has a been a disciple of Anirudhan Tantri of Sree Gurudeva Vaidika Tantra Vidyapeet for the last 10 years.